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Unions, Break-ups and Special Relationships: Aspects of Irish-German-UK Relations

Edited by Prof. Paul Carmichael and Prof. Gisela Holfter

The focus of this publication is the triangular relationship between Germany, Ireland and the UK in the aftermath of Brexit. The collection offers an interdisciplinary approach to considering various cultural and political facets of relations between Ireland, Germany and the UK, covering different perspectives, issues and the opportunities which arise.

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The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung were delighted to co-host the 18th International Conference in Irish-German Studies “Unions, Break-ups and Special Relationships – Aspects of the Irish-German-UK Relationships”, organised by the Centre for Irish-German Studies (CIGS) at the University of Limerick in November 2021. The publication contains a selection of the contributions from the conference and additional papers: a range of different perspectives, issues and opportunities on the cultural and political relationships between Germany, Ireland and the UK.

The peer reviewed volume entitled, "Unions, Break-Ups and Special Relationships: Aspects of Irish-German-UK Relations" (Trier: WVT, 2022) was launched in Belfast in November 2022 by H.E. Cord Meier-Klodt German Ambassador to Ireland 



Matthias Barner (Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, United Kingdom & Ireland) Foreword

Paul Carmichael, Gisela Holfter Introductory Notes on Unions, Break-ups and Special Relationships – Aspects of Irish-German-UK Relations


Section One 

The first part of the volume is entitled ‘Academia and Languages: BritishGerman Relations and British Studies in Germany/German Studies in the UK as well as IrishGerman Relations and German Studies in Ireland and Irish Studies in Germany ’. It maps the respective areas of German, Irish and British Studies in the different constituencies and with increased focus on respective bilateral relations.

Nicola McLelland German Teaching and German Studies in the UK: A Snapshot after Brexit and Mid-Pandemic

Marieke Krajenbrink German Studies in the Republic of Ireland

Pól Ó Dochartaigh German at the Northern Irish Universities

Gisela Holfter Reflections on Irish-German Studies in Theory and Practice

Katharina Rennhak Irish Studies in Germany Today: A Report

Gesa Stedman German-British Relations? The Centre for British Studies Revisited

Marius Guderjan German-British Relations Post Brexit

Paul Gillespie British-Irish Studies: Change and Cooperation


Section Two 

The second part is entitled ‘Reflecting Europe and the European Union in Ireland North and South after Brexit, (Re-)Unification in the Past and in the Future and the Situation in Northern Ireland ’. This section includes reflections regarding Europe and its relationship to Ireland, North and South, German unification as well as past and future relationships between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and within Northern Ireland itself. 

Joachim Fischer Where is Europe in Irish Education? A Plaidoyer for a Revival of European Studies in Irish Schools after Brexit

Jürgen Pelzer When Hope and History (Might) Rhyme: Reflections of the “Wende” in East and West German Poetry between 1989 and 1992

John Coakley The Partition of Ireland: Perspectives on the Future

Edward Moxon-Browne Brexit and Irish Unity: Festina Lente?

Katy Hayward Making and Breaking Unions: The Unintended Consequences of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

James W. McAuley Changing Cultures and Identity? Politics in Post-Brexit Northern Ireland Oran Doyle Irish Unification: Constitutional Modalities and Adaptati


Limited copied of the publication are available through the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung UK and Ireland office. Please email for more informationThe publications can also be obtained in German bookshops. 



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